Consequences

This week another week of highs and lows. Jay home from hospital, then back to hospital, then home again! Great news about Lis securing employment from February.


She is so humble and absolutely brilliant, I’m sure she’ll make a real difference to those young lives and their families facing heartbreak and possibly their greatest challenge. Andrew and Lis are enjoying a much deserved break in Cairns and it was lovely they called to share their news.

My dad has been diagnosed with gout, and I have had good news from the doctors today.


I started writing this blog last night before the Paris terrorist attacks, where overnight we have learnt how  terrible they were. Loss of life, devastating injuries, lives and families shattered.

So this brings me to my title of consequences but from a different perspective from where I had begun.

As we go through life we are all faced with decisions and choices, and someone’s decision or choice can have a massive impact on our lives and our loved ones. That should never deter us from chasing our dreams and following our hearts.

I try to let all those I love be in no doubt of that and I hope that Kevin and I have given our children the confidence to make good decisions and choices, to follow their dreams and to treat people with respect, as they want to be treated.

As a global community we need to find a way to be tolerant of others choices and to live in peace. I’d say history proves that this is an idealistic view as the human race can talk the talk, but human nature is such that it can prevent walking the walk.

We must indeed pray for Paris and solace and comfort to those affected.🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🗼

In sickness and in health

Last week certainly threw a curved ball with Jay, nina’s boyfriend and Jane, Elaine’s spouse in hospital. Both share the same birth date, just a coincidence I’m sure! 

   
As we waited for news it was good to see the well wishes received for their swift  return home. Jane was home by friday, Jay on Sunday.

Nina was really upset by the enforced separation but to her credit she coped admirably, and also with her new job, no mean feat.

It always strikes me how people cope in difficult circumstances. Some can take a positive from it, others fall to pieces. But I find that it’s not what happens but how you deal with it that is important and being surrounded by those that love you and you love in return can sustain and fortify you through difficult, challenging times.

I know that I have a loving and supportive extended family, that pull together offering what comfort we can, even if it is only a phone call or text.

Sometimes it is the smallest gesture that can work wonders, laughter can quite often be the best medicine.

I’m sure Jay and Jane will recover quickly and be back to their best soon, safe in the knowledge that we are always here for them. Sharing lives together is through the bad as well as the good times and having that special someone there definitely helps to face up to difficult challenges and see light at the end of the tunnel.
I am so proud of Jay and Nina and how they have coped this week, together.🤐💕👏🏻👏🏻

Suffragette

This evening Kevin and I went to see the film ‘suffragette’, no need to explain what it was about! 

Watching the film, albeit a sanitised version, and after decades of women battling to get equality, I found myself thinking how fortunate I am to have been born when I was. 

 Whilst there are still barriers to be further broken down and glass ceilings to go through, I can’t imagine what it is like to live in country where you are a second class citizen.

I have enjoyed so many freedoms, choices, and opportunities in my life time, so it is difficult to comprehend not following your dreams, having a good education, poor healthcare, the possibility of endless pregnancies, and not being able to have a say in how the country is run and in the laws that are passed.

Would I have had the courage to do what those women did, would I have gone to prison for my principles, would I have coped being ostracised by my community, family, perhaps losing my home and not seeing my children? I just don’t know, as in the main I have always tried to conform to what has been expected of me, only now am I doing more of what I expect of myself!

  
At the end of the film they showed a list of other countries and where women won the right to vote and was stunned that in 1944 France gave them the vote, Italy following in 1945 and in 2015 Saudi Arabia could be the next country to follow.

It’s struck me just how much I take for granted the family I have, what I do, the home I live in, and I thank all the women who struggled and suffered to give me the privileged life I lead today!

365 days

The last year has in some ways been a challenge for me both physically and mentally. It’s been a year in which I have realised that I have a wonderful husband, children, family and friends. Those are more precious to me than money, possessions or status. I have made a conscious effort to have at least one thing a month to look forward to, from travel to visiting friends or family, or having them visit me. 

 
It started last November in earnest with  our second trip to Australia. We visited friends in Perth, Andrew and lis in Melbourne and lis’s amazing parents in Tassie. We even had a cheeky few days in Singapore. 

Christmas was a very small affair, but no less enjoyable because of it! 

 
2015 arrived and we had a rare old time at the Burn’s supper at school! February saw a trip to Paris for Scotland v France. A wonderful fun filled weekend with my friend Debbie. March saw us wave off Nina and Jay to Australia a mixture of joy, envy and sadness felt 

   
Luckily i had another six nations match in Edinburgh, with also a chance to meet up with my parents. Highlight of the weekend though was meeting Gavin Hastings! 

April was brilliant as we celebrated my mum’s 80th, my mother in law’s 75th and nina’s 21st  all in the space of 12 days. Jay took Nina away to Barcelona. And she was thoroughly spoiled!

Phew – May, and Elaine and Jane got married. Just a few people to see the legal deed done, followed by a fantastic meal and to see Romeo and Juliet at BOAT; very British in the pouring rain.

  
We surprised mum and dad when we turned up in Majorca in June. A real tonic staying in a lovely hotel on the pine Walk. Will definitely go back.

  

My birthday in July was fantastic with mum and dad and Joe visiting. We dined at Mason’s where we were treated like royalty, great food, lots of laughter and the usual Micky taking! 

 
August provided the opportunity to catch up with friends, this involved a few cheeky afternoon teas, cocktails and food. Again with the usual banter lots of laughter and I enjoyed the break from work. We had a visit to the sky gardens, followed by a meal at Madison near St. Paul’s.

  
I’ve already written about the wedding in September – always joyous occasions full of love, hope and promise. As Kevin and I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary next week, that pretty much is the twelve months and I have done what I set out to do. I still struggle with a few demons, but these moments, memories sustain me.

  
Already got trips, visits etc planned up to March, no September, next year……..

5 years today…..

I just can’t believe that 5 years have passed since we waved off Andrew and Lis to their life in Australia. In many ways it doesn’t seem that long, in others it seems longer! 

  
I remember being picked up from school and we drove to Heathrow where we had a drink and then had to face the goodbye scenario – I’ll never get used to that.

I remember Andrew going through security saluting  just as he passed out of sight. 

Georgina and I were in the car driving home together with tears flowing. We put the radio on and the song playing  was ‘Airplanes’ by BOB ft Hayley Williams – even more tears!

In the last five years we have visited twice, and only visited a small part of Australia, but also taken the opportunity to go to Tasmania and Singapore. I’m not sure we would have done that if they weren’t there. I plan for us to go onto NZ at some stage and there is Bali, Fiji, Vietman,Thailand, and Dubai to fit in.

   
 
Georgina has visited in 2013,14 and 15! So well versed in Aussie slang by now. 

  
We are lucky that there is Skype and FaceTime and we use both regularly, possibly talking more frequently than if they lived nearby. It doesn’t replace a hug, a smell, a family gathering but until we are all together again we make the most of it. As usual there is plenty of self deprecating humour, laughter and the occasional tear, but hopefully we will be together soon!

Settling in Melbourne, they have a home, Andrew has a burgeoning career, and Lis is in her final year of her Masters. Next year will see a whole spectrum of opportunities and change open up for them, which no doubt they will grasp and begin making their dreams into reality.

Wedding,Wedding where is this heading?

On Friday we went to our nephew’s wedding and it was a wonderful day, full of love and laughter. Great to get together with extended family and be a part of a life enhancing event. 

   

  
The bride, Lizzie, was stunning and the groom, Daniel very handsome. All family and friends were suited and booted and following a short ceremony, the celebrations began. The meal was delicious, especially the dessert!

   
 
After the speeches there was the first dance- Al Green’s let’s stay together.The band then played tunes requested in advance from the guests, a lovely touch. 

I love these occasions as there is always so much joy, with hopes and dreams as the couple’s new married life begins. 

And so on our long drive home it brought back memories of when Andrew and Lis married on 10/11/12. 

  

The day goes by in a blur and everyone is caught up in the moment. But every now and then there is a song, a scent that triggers the memories. Tears are never far away – and I am immensely proud of what Andrew and Lis have done since that day, a true embodiment of what marriage is about, love, support, tears of both sadness but also great joy and laughter! 
Every time I hear David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ I remember how amazed I was to see Andrew dance, and be in time! I still remember Tony’s speech with trips down memory lane and hysterical photoshopped images! 

Hopefully it may not be too much longer that we have another family celebration and I wish the new Mr and Mrs McIntosh all they wish for together. X👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Work life

I return to work tomorrow after the summer break and it’s hit me that I have worked at the school for 10 years!

That’s made me think of how fortunate I have been in my working life. I left school in November 1977 to work for the DHSS as a clerical officer. I worked there for 2 1/2 years until I made a move into the City. I didn’t really want to change but my boyfriend at the time felt it would be good so that we could have access to a cheap mortgage.

I secured a job at Libra Bank in London Wall and not only worked my way through roles in Accounts, Back Office and finally the Dealing Room, but also met Kevin my husband and enjoyed the notoriety of being the only female dealer the bank had.

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I worked there for 10 years until the bank closed in 1990 and went to work as a corporate dealer for West LB until I left in 1991 to have our second son, Joseph.

I had our daughter in 1994 and enjoyed the stay at home mum sojourn until I went to work for ECC in 1999. This let me still have the school holidays off and still enjoy  time with our kids even in the teenage years.

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I learned a lot about education finance and jumped at the chance to go for the job at SJP in 2005.

Who knows what the future holds so let’s see what happens and keep an open mind!image

Early days!

Before the move to England I enjoyed a happy childhood with two sets of grandparents Grandma and Grandda Ramsay and Dora, who we visited often. We would stay with the Dora grandparents Joe and Tini (short for Valentina) as they had an attic at the very top of the building above the Thistle fish and chip shop they ran in Applegate.

Most mornings we would be woken by the strains of Mrs Swankie’s pigeons (seagulls) and their cries for food! Monday was the day the fish and chip shop was closed so we would bundle into my Grandfather’s Rover, his pride and joy, for a drive around the many beautiful sites of North East Scotland.

We would stop for a high tea or all squeeze into Uncle Chae’s and enjoy steak pie, scones, apple pie, the works. I remember watching the High Chapparal, a cowboy programme (very popular in its time).

There was fun and laughter and time spent with cousins as part of an extended family. I have so many fond memories of this time, although once I went to school we were restricted to school holidays to visit.

Life in Leith in a tenement block could on occasion be fraught with a few scary moments, not that I was aware of them at the time, it was only subsequently as I got older that my Mum told the stories of needles being left at the bottom of the block and junkies getting their fix.

My parents were exceptional in shielding my sister and I from these less savoury aspects of life! For which we are thankful.

I have one less than savoury episode where my friend and I were walking to school and a man exposed himself to us. We were shocked at what we saw and never said anything to anyone about this, but were forced to after the same person tried to abduct my friend when she was on her own one day. Fortunately he was caught as he worked at a garage on the route we took. I did have nightmares for many subsequent years where I could see his face clearly and it ended with a female police officer taking him away.

My Dad’s parents, Jim and Jane Ramsay, lived near the golf course at Arbroath, where Jim was the green keeper. We would often go out for tea until they moved to a flat in the town. Grandma Ramsay died in 1967 after being ill for sometime, and Joseph, our second son was born 25 years to the day she died.

First post!

When I was a lot younger I never thought I would marry, let alone have a family, but I have been blessed with a fantastic husband  Kevin, and three wonderful children Andrew, Joseph and Georgina, who have given us such a rich and varied family life.

It’s been a privilege to see them grow both physically and mentally into the caring people they are today. May that continue as they face up to the many challenges life throws at them, safe in the knowledge that they have each other as well as the partners that they share their lives with.


Life began for me in July 1961 in Arbroath, Scotland. We lived in Leith, an area of Edinburgh. Our family was completed when my sister Elaine Marie arrived in 1966. We returned to Arbroath in 1968 as my Dad moved to London, relocating for work and to find somewhere for us all to live.

On 22nd June 1969, I made my 1st Holy Communion in the morning and caught the train to England via the overnight sleeper to London E15, where we became Eastenders!